Jump Start: Google My Business
If you are a small business - or are just about to open one - getting discovered is key to attracting your audience. With so many platforms out there, it can be hard to know which ones to prioritize. But before we jump in to this powerful free tool, let me ask you a question.
Have you ever Googled yourself?
Don't be shy. When it comes to your business, you really should. Go ahead: open a new tab and do it now. It's important. Where does your website rank in the search results when you look up just your business name? How about your business + city?
Google is designed with the individual user experience in mind. They want to be sure when a user is looking for something specific they find it quickly and efficiently. This means letting the user see as much information as possible before directing them out of the search results and on to a company website. As a small business, it is up to you to provide Google with as much information as possible, so they can help prospective customers find you better.
Enter Google My Business.
Still have your search results up in the other tab? Now check the Knowledge Panel; an at-a-glance box to the right of the search results that features your business contact information, hours, a link to your website (if you have one), photos you have uploaded (or other users have submitted of your business), questions about and reviews for your business.
What is a Google My Business Listing?
Google automatically creates this Knowledge Panel as an "at-a-glance" listing for its users to find key business information within its search screens. These listings help users discover local businesses directly by name and by category, so the more accurate and informative your listing is, the easier it will be for your audience to find you.
How can I tell if my listing is verified?
Are you already verified? AWESOME! Then get in to google.com/business and update your listing this morning! Uh-oh: The listing is claimed but you don't know by whom? Follow steps 1-3 below and send an access request to the individual who claimed your listing.
Not verified, but your information looks fine? It's still a good idea to verify and claim your business listing. Here are four big reasons you should:
Show up higher in the search results.
Have access to additional features to further optimize your listing.
Provide access to analytics regarding how your business listing is performing.
Ensure wrong information won't be getting to your prospective customers.
Not sure how to get started? Here's the road map:
Key Areas To Update
Address (with map location verified)
Phone Number (Local, not toll free)
Include a Service Area (If applicable)
List Your Services
Add Business Highlights
Add Labels / Keywords
Post News & Special Offers
The Jump Start Series by Solutions On 2nd, LLC features free or low cost ways to elevate your small business marketing programs. Each segment will introduce a new avenue for you to consider as you grow your business. Utilizing these tools and doing further research on their functions is at the reader's discretion. Have questions or want more information on a topic? Let us know in the comments or over on Facebook at @solutionson2nd.